The Rockstar Approach to Networking: The Beginning

Published: June 4, 2013 | Tags: , ,

Of all the Speakers we booked this year, you had the best response from our students!  In fact, in the past few years, you’re the best speaker we’ve had!

Sonia Honne-Gonzalez, Senior Program Coordinator, UT Austin, Texas

When I was 24, I was offered a 6-figure salary to do a job I absolutely loved with people I admired and for a firm I had always wanted to work with.  But less than a year before that, the same firm came to my campus to recruit candidates – and didn’t even invite me to their recruiting event!  What did I do in those few months that turned it all around?

I learned to network like a rockstar – the hard way.

I was 23 when I arrived at business school, and found myself surrounded by classmates with 5-10 years of work experience.  I realized quickly that recruiters were much more interested in talking to them than they were to me.  Recognizing the importance of the resume, I also understood that I needed to break free from the constraints of that 8.5”x11” piece of paper and let the firms I was interested in know that I was a Rockstar.

Well, it worked.  Not only did I get a summer internship offer with this firm, but was successfully invited to interview with every firm I was interested in.  I was very proud of my accomplishment, and other people noticed too.   When I returned to campus as a second-year student, I would often find the first year students asking me the same questions.  The conversation went something like this:

“Jaymin, how did you get an interview with every firm when you’re so young?”

“Well, I networked with all the firms and let them know who I am”

“But what does that really mean – how did you do it?”

“Well, I built personal relationships with individuals at those firms – I reached out and met them, talked to them on the phone, etc”

“But what did you say to get a call with them – and what did you say in the conversation that convinced them?”

At that point I understood that I had realized a secret to success that not everyone knew.  I decided to write down my experience into a book – and it took me nearly two years to learn how to even articulate what I had learned.  Networking is a nebulous concept – there’s no real beginning or ending, no linearity.  But I learned how to put a structure around it, a science behind it, and now I spend most of my time articulating this to people who really need to hear it.  This includes graduate students like MBA students, industry professionals, undergraduates, and most recently even high school students.

I do this via my book, The MBA Guide to Networking Like a Rockstar, but also via lectures and workshops, via seminars, and also via 1on1 career coaching.  My learnings basically break down to four components, which are introduced in my FREE book The Rockstar Approach: A Beginner’s Guide

1)     Understand the Science of Networking

2)     Build and Enhance Essential Networking Skill Sets

3)     Perform a Thorough Self-Assessment; Know Where to Start

4)     Develop Successful Networking Strategies

You can download The Beginner’s Guide for free by signing up for my newsletter (check out the signup form on this website) and you can also purchase my first book, The MBA Guide to Networking Like A Rockstar, which has a lot more detail on how to be successful and includes real example emails and dialogues to help you land your dream job.

The networking landscape can be a tricky one – one slip and all your efforts can be washed away.  I hope you find the free content on the site and the details of the book valuable in your journey.

Rock on!

– Jaymin